Ryan Scarbel: Young Student With Seasoned Apologist’s Heart
by Sheryl Young
Ryan Scarbel came to our attention when his Chapter Director, Adam Tucker at the University of North Carolina’s Greensboro campus (UNCG), filled out an application to present him with our Legatus Christi Certificate this past spring semester. The qualifications for Legatus Christi, a recognition which is unique to Ratio Christi, center on how well our students absorb the apologetics teachings and then apply them to their lives, spiritual walk, and relationships.
“Ryan’s only been a Christian for a couple of years,” says Tucker, “but he’s passionate about evangelism and learning how to incorporate apologetics in his outreach. He not only grasps the information, but he seeks to live it out consistently and share it with others. Throughout his time at Ratio Christi, I received texts, emails, phone calls, and had personal interactions with him about the latest conversation he was having with a nonbeliever and how he would use apologetics throughout their discussion.”
Scarbel majors in philosophy, one of the toughest fields in which to convince both students and professors of Christianity’s truths and reason. But Tucker says this student was up for the challenge.
“Ryan has had numerous interactions with his philosophy classmates and professors, both in and out of class. I know that at least one unbelieving professor is seriously considering the arguments Ryan presented. Perhaps the best news I have heard from Ryan is that one of his atheist friends is now very interested in becoming a Christ follower, in part because of her conversations with Ryan.”Scarbel took part in two mission trips this summer – one in New York City and one in Bhopal, India. We had the chance to do a Q&A session with him, fresh off his India trip.
Q: When did you find Christ as your Savior?
A: In the fall of 2012, I came into college an atheist; I was apathetic towards anything religious. I had my mind set on the things that I thought were important – women and getting drunk at parties! I met some Christians in my first few days and one of them shared the Gospel with me. I didn’t think a God existed so it was all irrelevant, but the Christians treated me differently – in a loving way that my other friends didn’t. So I agreed to hang out with them and even come to their events, namely CRU (another campus Christian ministry).
After spending a lot of time with them I got into a Bible study. I became more interested and spent a great deal of time on the internet, watching debates on the existence of God with people such as William Lane Craig [of Reasonable Faith], and constantly asking questions. My Bible study leader allowed me to look at some books he had addressing the supposed contradictions in the Bible. I cannot remember the exact defining moment where I made my transition from atheism to putting my faith in Christ; it was a gradual process that occurred over the first few weeks of my freshman year at college…
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